Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

I am so excited by some of the wonderful graphic novels coming out for the 8-12 age group this spring and summer! This is one I'm really, really excited about - I gulped it down in my hotel room at ALA Midwinter and I can't wait for a sequel! From the moment we turn to the first gorgeously colored full page, we're dropped into action, starting with two curious, squabbling children...who get flung into space. Immediately, we plunge into a heart-stopping adventure with Zita, determined to help her friend Joseph, who she accidentally sent to a dying planet. With the help of her new friends, Strong Strong, Piper, Mouse, and One, Zita must save Joseph - and the planet. Does Zita have the courage to continue, even when she's betrayed by her new friends?

Zita is exactly what I look for in a graphic novel for middle grades - strong lines and colors, action moving clearly between panels, a readable and fairly large type, lots of action, interesting characters, and a plot that grabs the reader from page one. Kids will instantly sympathize with Zita's fear at being stranded on a completely alien world, her bewildered fascination with the new things she sees every moment, and her stubborn insistence on rescuing her friend despite all odds.

Verdict: Well written, beautifully drawn, and with simply oodles of kid appeal, this is a must-have for your graphic novel collection and I am eagerly awaiting a sequel!
ISBN: 9781596434462; Published February 2011 by First Second; Review copy provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter 2011

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